Twenty-year-old first generation stud breeder Thomas Spencer teamed up with an older, proven performer to take out the Supreme Hereford Exhibit at the 2022 Perth Royal Show.
Thomas, who operates Spencer Cattle Co at Muchea, showed the seven-year-old sire Yallaroo Legacy L10 to win Senior and Grand Champion Bull and Supreme Exhibit.
The 2015-drop Legacy L10, sired by Yallaroo Handsome H15 out of Yallaroo Amaze G3, went on to contest the Interbreed competition, where Victorian judge Glenn Trout said he was surprised to see such a mature bull step out in the ring and described him as ‘a powerhouse’ for the Hereford breed.
Mr Trout said the mature sire had functionally sound feet and legs with flexibility through the pasterns and hock.
It was a big step up for Thomas, showing seven head this year after two last year, and his cattle did not disappoint.
Spencer Silver Queen S2 went one better than her win in the female over 18 and not over 21 months to take the ribbon for Champion Junior Heifer, and Spencer Amaze S6, a daughter of the Supreme Exhibit, was Reserve Champion after winning her class of female over 14 and not over 18 months.
Yallaroo Juliet N008, shown by Spencer Cattle Co, won the female over 33 months class and went on to be sashed Senior and Grand Champion Female.
The Reserve Senior Champion female was Eskdale Favourite G7 L52, a 2015 drop female by Eskdale Gadget C26 G7 out of Eskdale Favourite X128 G25, shown by Denise Warner, Waroona, with her Autumn-drop heifer calf Paragon PH Lady Tara.
Thomas has 30 breeders and mainly works on the family farm as well as doing contract work for other cattle producers. As he had no yearling bulls to show, Thomas decided to break the 1105kg Yallaroo Legacy L10 to halter.
The sire had been taught to lead five years previously as a young sale bull and had been out working before beginning his show career at the age of seven.
“Legacy is as sound as a bell for a seven-and-a-half-year-old so I thought why not? He took to it surprisingly well and now he is good to lead,” Thomas said.
“He handled the fuss of the show really well and was easy to manage. He is a good example of Hereford longevity and temperament as you don’t see many bulls of any breed shown at that age.”
Thomas said he was backed by a dedicated team of family and friends who helped feed, transport and prepare the show team.
“A big cheers to the WA show cattle family too, for always making the Royal such a blast. The culture in the cattle lanes at Perth is awesome,” he said.
Thomas also paid tribute to Rob and Heather Francis, Yallaroo Herefords, for giving him access to the Yallaroo genetics and being wonderful mentors. At home, he is putting Hereford bulls over commercial Murray Grey females and is impressed by the ease of calving and growth rates of their progeny.
Thomas presented his first bulls for sale in 2022, including Spencer Revolution R2, sired by Yallaroo Norway N035 and out of Yallaroo Amaze F10. A Junior and Grand Champion Bull at last year’s Perth Royal, Revolution R2 ranked in the top 10 per cent of the breed for growth and retail beef yield.
He has plans to enter purebred and Hereford cross steers in the carcass competition at Perth Royal next year.
“I always wanted to show cows but the main driver for showing a decent team of Herefords is to support for the breed and build its presence in WA,” he said.
“It’s important to get Herefords out as much as possible. While we didn’t succeed in the Interbreed judging at the Show, there were people around the ring impressed to see a bull of that age so sound and active.”
Thomas is also a passionate poultry breeder and was chosen to represent Western Australia in the Agricultural Shows Australia National Young Judges Award at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show, where he was runner-up.
Paragon stud dominates miniature classes
Meanwhile the miniature Hereford classes at Perth Royal were dominated by Denise Warner’s Paragon Miniature Herefords, Waroona. The Junior Champion Bull was Paragon Lord Scott, a son of CSF Gauge (IMP USA) out of Paragon Lady Maddi.
Senior and Grand Champion Bull was Paragon Lord Otis, a 2019 drop sire by SSR Cooper (IMP USA) out of Paragon Lady Mandi, while Paragon Lady Sandi was Junior Champion Female and Paragon Lady Nikki, a 2017 drop cow by KNF General Stan Waite (IMP USA) and out of Paragon Lady Jackie, was Senior and Grand Champion Female.
Denise also exhibited the winning pair of females, breeders’ group of three and placed third in the specialty group of three heifers interbreed competition.